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The Suds Report Newsletter
August 2002

Hello All:

I just looked at last month's newsletter, and noticed that I was complaining about the heat. Well, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is still HOT! All I can say is "Thank goodness for air conditioning!"

I continue to be amazed at all the intriguing bath and body products out there, so we have no shortage of material. After observing the various product offerings over time, I've also noticed some trends, which I'll plan to mention from time to time, beginning with this newsletter.

New at

We've added two new articles this month: First, our resident pedicure aficionado, Jill Bowling, tries out some products for Foot Care at home in Treats for Your Feet. Then, I give you my report on one of my personal bath time favorites, handmade soaps, in A Handmade Soap Tale.

And the Winner Is

Congratulations to our July giveaway winner: Jeni Larson from Huntington Beach, California, who won a fabulous lavender basket from

On August 15, we'll be giving away Sugar Scrub and Body Icing. These goodies were a big hit with our reviewer Lisa in Your Just Desserts.

Organic: The New Natural?

When it comes to personal care products, the word "natural" has been overused to the point of becoming virtually meaningless. The term is not regulated, and has proven popular with consumers, so it is now frequently slapped on products that are far from most people's understanding of "natural."

Now, a new term is gradually making its way from the food section to the personal care aisles: "organic." Unlike "natural", this term is clearly defined. Currently, "organic" certification is offered by numerous independent agencies; standards vary from state to state.

Beginning this fall, however, federal regulations governing organics will go into effect. The new USDA seal will help create uniformity in the use of the term.  For instance, according to the new regulations, any product labeled organic must contain 95 to 100% organic ingredients (visit the USDA site to read more about the new organic standards).

Are you ready to give organics a try? Prepare to do some searching. Believe it or not, ubh (You Be Healthy) is the only line I've discovered that promises all its products are "completely organic and avalon organics free from chemicals." They have a small but attractive selection of products, elegantly packaged and fairly pricey.

Another line that gets specific about its use of organic ingredients is Avalon Organic Botanicals, a division of, which states the percentages of organic ingredients (ranging from 56 to 100%) on each of its product labels.

It is far from clear whether the use of organic ingredients makes a more beneficial bath and body product.

However, consumers may take comfort from the notion that the products were produced in a more environmentally-friendly way.

For creators of personal care products looking for sources of organic ingredients, a good starting point is the Organic Trade Association at

Let's Talk about Beauty

Do you need a good description of what tuberose smells like, pronto? Are you dying to tell someone about the fantastic new shimmer lotion you just tried? Well, you're in luck. The answer: online beauty discussion boards.

These cyber meeting places focus mainly on cosmetics (as well as numerous "off-topic" discussions), but also include a fair number of bath and body related discussions. You can check out what others are saying (a.k.a. "lurking"), add your two cents' worth to an ongoing discussion, or start a new topic with a question or comment.

My favorite board is the one at There you'll find a very active group of friendly, knowledgeable people. Other fun boards to visit: and "The Grapevine" at Be forewarned, though: these sites can be addicting!

A Family Tradition

In last month's newsletter, I mentioned, a small Missouri company that focuses on custom-made, all natural bath and body products. Well, I simply cannot resist adding this postscript: The owner, Debra Hendron, dropped me a line and told me that her grandmother began doing custom work in the mid-50's and passed much of her expertise on to Debra, who has "inherited" some of her grandmother's clients.

In fact, she says that her family has been making soap for a family in Georgia for over 50 years! Call me sentimental, but I think that is a wonderful story.

In the Works

Coming up soon: natural bath and body products for pregnant women, Calypso Cosmetics and more!

Well, thatís about it for now. As always, please e-mail us with any comments or suggestions.

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